Nothing short of a revolution. That's the only way to describe the public upheaval that took place yesterday.
Nancy Pelosi has been fired, the Senate is far more balanced and President Obama was resoundingly rebuked. Republican governors could control upwards of 30 statehouses when the smoke clears. That's what you call a consequential election.
As predicted, the explosion of government cost and the economic slump were the driving factors for voters. The results immediately reinvigorate the checks and balances inherent in the two-party system and bring a needed dose of fiscal sanity to Washington and the states.
Yet those are only the most obvious outcomes. The real meaning of yesterday is much more profound.
Let me put it this way: With apologies to Michelle Obama, I've never been more proud of my country. Millions of ordinary Americans rebuffed the harangues and lectures of their supposed betters and dared to take the future into their own hands.
They shouted truth to power. They dared resist the fear mongering of the corruptocrats in government and their media handmaidens.
Told to shut up and sit down, the "great unwashed middle," as Katie Couric recently called it, thundered "Hell, no!" Voters everywhere stood up for independence and spoke up for their own values.
This is American Exceptionalism in action.
Call it a Tea Party for convenience, but that loaded term is an injustice to the movement that is rebelling against its political masters.
Emerging at a time of national distress, a semblance of the spirit that created this unique nation and sustained it through two centuries of war and peace, prosperity and pestilence is reshaping the third century.
That spirit is springing forth in small towns and suburbs and big cities. It is the seed of democracy, as practiced by patriots.
It is a shining moment in America's grand history precisely because the odds and the oddsmakers were against it. With few exceptions, the major news organizations, the civilian liberal establishment and the White House used every power lever to ridicule and delegitimize the citizen movement.
Obama tried to stir fear among Latinos by portraying opponents as "enemies" and even yesterday warned against big money, special interests and "the politics of cynicism."
In short, faced with a great and sweeping uprising against his agenda, he could think only of clichés to instill fear in his supporters.
If ever there was a moment that captured the president's divide from the heartland, that was it.
The president knew for months, a year even, that the nation was dead set against his policies.
Instead of conciliation, he heaped ridicule and abuse on critics. He moaned about the tone in Washington as though he is an innocent bystander.
The result was a wave against him that grew day by day. His harsh attacks reminded voters how wrong they were to see him as a reasonable man who would govern from the center.
As Newsweek blogger Mickey Kaus wrote of Obama's desperate broadsides, "He's firming up the wrong base."
The focus now turns to Obama's reaction. Will he continue to beat his head against the wall of the American people? Or will he accept that his way has been rejected?
He's still president, but he's no longer free to act without restraint. He has awakened a mighty force and, unless he can accommodate himself to it, he, too, will be swept aside.
Michael Goodwin is a New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor. To continue reading his column, click here.